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Criminal behaviour has genetic causes. Others believe that circumstances lead people..(Band 9 Essay)

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.


Write about the following topic:


Some people think that criminal behaviour has genetic causes. Others believe that it is circumstances that lead people to commit a crime.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.


Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge and experiences.


You should write at least 250 words.


Task 2 Band 9 Essay Sample - Some people think that criminal behaviour has genetic causes. Others believe that it is circumstances that lead people to commit a crime.

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Sample Essay 1

Some people argue that violent attitude is inherited while others say that the influence of the environment make people do crimes. Though heredity works as an important factor behind involving in crimes, in my opinion, living environment is the root cause of people’s deplorable demeanour.


Criminal characteristics are claimed to be the result of the genetically gained psychological disorder. Criminals tend to share the same traits with their offspring and vice versa. The exponential growth of case numbers can be portrayed as evidence, because majority of the criminal records indicate that the offenders have familial history of committing crimes. In fact, psychiatrists reveal that in most of the behavioural therapy sessions, criminals happen to know each other by their lineages, and they have been predominantly suffering from same sorts of emotional strain and mental trauma. This might be the result of their biological traits which come to light as psychological anomalies. Thus, the violent behaviours are claimed to be associated with genetic orientation.


On the other hand, one’s upbringing and social learning environment can be directly linked to an individual’s criminal behavioural pattern. In other words, our upbringings and growing up as a child have the capability to design our view of the world, and have a direct impact on our action. For instance, people who live in an environment that is full of neglected childhood, adults’ violent attitude, physical, sexual and emotional oppression and so on, they are more like to become aggressive and violent than the ones who live in a peaceful social and familial atmosphere.


In short, criminal actions and attitude are partly due to biological or natural traits, but predominantly it is the upbringing environment that shapes a person’s outlook and actions.


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Sample Essay 2

The debate on the origins of criminal behavior has polarized opinions into two distinct camps: those who attribute criminality to genetic predisposition and those who argue that environmental factors are the primary catalysts for such actions. This essay will examine both perspectives, arguing that while genetic factors may contribute to a predisposition towards criminal behavior, it is predominantly environmental circumstances that shape an individual's propensity to commit crime.


Proponents of the genetic viewpoint argue that criminal tendencies are inherited, suggesting that like many physical and psychological traits, the propensity for unlawful behavior could be encoded in one's DNA. Studies have pointed to certain genetic markers that are more prevalent in individuals with a history of criminal activity, implying a biological underpinning for antisocial behaviors. However, while this perspective offers a compelling argument about the role of biology in shaping human behavior, it does not account for the myriad of individuals with similar genetic markers who lead law-abiding lives.


Conversely, the argument that environmental factors are the primary drivers of criminal behavior presents a more nuanced understanding of the issue. This perspective emphasizes the role of socio-economic status, education, family environment, and peer influence in determining one's likelihood of engaging in criminal activity. It suggests that individuals born into adverse conditions, such as poverty, are more susceptible to crime, not because of an inherent predisposition, but due to the circumstances that limit their opportunities and influence their choices. For example, a lack of access to quality education and employment opportunities can push individuals towards criminality as a means of survival.


In conclusion, the complex debate highlights that environmental influences considerably outweigh genetic factors in shaping criminal behavior. Addressing crime's root causes - improving socio-economic conditions, access to education, and community environments - presents a holistic prevention strategy, acknowledging the significant role of environmental factors over genetic predispositions in determining criminal behavior.


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Sample Essay 3

The debate on whether criminal behavior stems from genetic predisposition or is a consequence of environmental factors is multifaceted. On one hand, some argue that inherent genetic traits predetermine criminal tendencies, while on the other, circumstances are believed to be the catalyst for such behaviors. This essay will explore both perspectives before concluding with my viewpoint.


Advocates of the genetic basis for crime suggest that certain individuals are biologically predisposed to criminality. Studies in behavioral genetics have identified potential links between specific gene mutations and aggressive behavior, suggesting a hereditary component to antisocial activities. For instance, research has shown that individuals with a variant of the MAOA gene, often referred to as the "warrior gene," are more likely to engage in violent crime. Proponents argue that understanding these genetic influences is crucial for early intervention and rehabilitation.


Conversely, the environmental perspective emphasizes the role of socio-economic factors, education, and family background in shaping one's propensity for crime. It posits that individuals turn to crime due to circumstances such as poverty, neglect, and exposure to crime in their upbringing. This viewpoint is supported by evidence showing high crime rates in areas plagued by poverty and social deprivation, suggesting that crime is a result of adverse conditions rather than inherent predispositions. For example, longitudinal studies have demonstrated that children from underprivileged backgrounds are significantly more likely to engage in criminal activities, highlighting the impact of environmental factors.


In conclusion, while the argument for a genetic predisposition to criminal behavior is supported by scientific research, the overwhelming evidence for the influence of environmental factors cannot be ignored. It is my belief that while genetics may play a role in predisposing individuals to certain behaviors, it is the circumstances and the environment that ultimately shape the decision to commit a crime.


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